After doing an ancestry report in honor of Black History Month, a black Huffington Post contributor discovers she is 31% white and claims she feels “shame” and dismayed.
A few weeks ago, Christine Michael Carter decided to do a 23andMe genetic composition test in honor of Black history Month and was shocked to find out she has some white ancestry.
Carter writes, “I found myself interested in their claim of helping clients find where their DNA came from around the world, since DNA can tell where a person’s ancestors lived more than 500 years ago. After completing my home-based saliva collection kit I quickly received my results.”
She lists the embarrassing results of her heritage as:
- Sub-Saharan African: 67.2%
- European: 31.5%
- East Asian & Native American: 0.6%
- Unassigned: 0.6%
In actual fact, it has been reported that the predominant ancestral make-up of most African-Americans is usually 73.2 % African, 24% European and .8 percent Native American, according to a genetic study.
— Christine M. Carter (@cmichelcarter) February 26, 2017
In her Huffington Post article, Carter chronicles what is was like to learn she was nearly one-third white:
“Huh? Of all the emotions which materialized from the results, the two strongest were disorient and shame. I thought the results would simply confirm what I was told by my family; instead they discredited their allegations.”
“Before this ancestry composition report, no one in my family told me they questioned if there was even a hint of European ancestry in our blood…I found it irritating all this information surfaced for me three decades after I was born, having assumed for twenty years I was just of a lighter complexion…”
“Irritation led to feeling disoriented again; perhaps because they haven’t received scientific proof regarding the matter they can’t understand my feeling lost and misguided. It can remain a theory for the rest of my family, but as someone who has become a Black millennial marketing expert… this s*** matters. It’s as if I’ve obscured the one thing which has guided me since I was nine years old… my heritage,” Carter went on.
“As inappropriate (but honest) as it sounds, I’d discovered I had the so-called “superior” race running through my veins, and never before had I felt so inferior.”
She recalled that her next reaction that surfaced was shame and ponders if her family did not make more of an effort to learn of their White ancestry “due to potential embarrassment.”
Despite the genomic evidence of her ancestral heritage, Carter is emotionally grappling with her whiteness. She wrote, “While I’m no Rachel Dolezal, I must accept the fact I do have White ancestors. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, but quite honestly, the road to acceptance will not be an easy one for me to travel.”
According to her Forbes bio, Carter is a guest contributing to a number of global digital publications, including Huffington Post, Ebony, Inc. and Women’s Health.
— HuffPost BlackVoices (@blackvoices) February 26, 2017
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